Total Productive Maintenance; Implementing a TPM Program

What is TPM

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a lean manufacturing tool that seeks to improve the reliability and efficiencies of our equipment and machines by utilizing everyone in the organization to tackle what are known as the six big losses measured through the performance indicator known as OEE or Overall Equipment Effectiveness;

  1. Breakdowns
  2. Setup and Adjustment losses
  3. Idling and minor stoppages
  4. Reduced Speed
  5. Defects and rework
  6. Start-up losses

TPM is not just about implementing preventive maintenance or predictive maintenance to prevent machines from breaking down, it is a team approach to also improve our startups, our running efficiencies, and our product quality. It seeks to continually improve our processes and equipment by constantly improving OEE (Overall equipment effectiveness) which is a performance metric for TPM  gained through measuring the six big losses.

This Article will look at how to go about implementing a TPM Program to ensure that you maximise your OEE and build a firm foundation upon which to build any Lean Manufacturing initiative. Without reliable machines and processes any other improvement initiative within lean is unlikely to find success.

Just like any other lean tool, TPM needs to be adapted and changed to the particular needs of your organisation, the use of an expert to help with your implementation program is highly recommended to help you avoid some of the more obvious stumbling points within your program.


TPM program  Implementation


Total Productive Maintenance

Reliable Machines need TPM

TPM is not a quick fix, it can often take between 2 and 5 years to implement fully depending on the size and complexity of your organisation. Taking short cuts or only cherry picking parts of the system will not give you the full benefits and you will end up creating problems that then take longer to address.

The most widely adopted framework for adopting TPM is that of the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance (JIPM) which is based around 9 steps split into three cycles. However like any lean manufacturing tool these steps should be tailored to your own specific circumstances and facilities. An alternative approach is detailed within the page about autonomous maintenance, like any lean manufacturing tool you will need to adapt it to best suit your people, culture and working environment to find the approach that is most effective for your company.



Measurement Cycle;


1/ Equipment history and performance analysis;

Select one cell or machine and begin to set project objectives such as manning, costs, OEE, and material savings.

Set up a project board for the 9 steps of the project and the team should start to collect all manuals and drawings. Also assemble all historical records regarding manning, performance rates, breakdowns, maintenance, replacements and accidents.

2/  Calculate OEE;

Ensure the team is educated in what OEE is and how to perform the OEE Calculation. Set up your OEE display board at the gemba along with graphs for each contributing factor. This step can take several days to a few weeks to gather meaningful data.


3/ Asses the six big losses and set priorities;

Review all of the data collected and have the team agree priorities and plans with management. Do not just jump to the lowest OEE, look also at the process cycle time to see if it is within tact time (the demand time of the customer) and if the process is a bottleneck or causing obvious delays.


Condition Cycle;


4/ Critical Assessment;

this is where you start to analyze each and every component of the machine, what does it do, how does it do it, why is designed that way and so forth. This is the opportunity for the whole team to fully understand how the machine works in detail.

For each critical component identify ideal conditions (pressure, lubrication, temperature etc.)  and also how each can be made to deteriorate quicker than it should.

Document everything and keep with the machine so that all have access.


5/ Cleanup and condition appraisal;


Cleaning and Inspection



this step is very much like the third stage of 5S Shine apart from it goes into much greater depth. Start by taking pictures of the current state, and then begin to inspect and clean each component filling in an appraisal form to detail any issues. Develop a cleaning program as well as identifying all possible causes of contamination both inside and outside the machine and develop plans to either eliminate, isolate, prevent or if you have to clean.



6/ Planed Refurbishment;

Plan and conduct all refurbishment identified in the previous stages. Also implement any changes to eliminate contamination, introduce pokayoke devices and examine and implement quick changeover through SMED (single minute exchange of die.)


7/ Develop Asset care;

This is the stage which most people identify with TPM, the introduction of autonomous maintenance where the operators themselves undertake daily inspections, lubrication, simple repairs, simple replacements and detect problems themselves. We also establish visual management using kamisshabi boards to show what work has been done, colour code and identify all gauges, pipes, cables etc with reference to the manuals as well as installing inspection windows so you can see what is happening inside the machine.


Problem Prevention Cycle;


8/ Best practice routines and standards;

just as in the 5S standardization step we develop and implement standard operating methods based on all that we have learned through the previous steps. We develop best practice manuals, single point lessons and spares requirements; all of which are kept with the machines not locked away in an office somewhere.


9/ Problem Prevention;

Using our measures of OEE we use the 5 whys and other quality tools to identify solutions and improvements with a preference for low cost and no cost solutions.


Total Productive Maintenance Video


TPM Program

As I have already mentioned any TPM program implementation has to be tailored to your specific needs, few lean tools (or any other business improvement tools) including total productive maintenance will work straight out of the box without significant thought and adaption to your companies culture and structure.

2 comments for “Total Productive Maintenance; Implementing a TPM Program

  1. Pande Sadanand
    July 15, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I need details of TPM pLZ

    • leanman
      July 17, 2015 at 2:52 am

      Hi Pande,

      You will need to actually read what is written. Most of the details you require about TPM are above.

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